One essential component of the project was first to develop a web-based information system. The prototype is aimed in multiple ways at creating networks: a) at the level of information technology, b) at the level of users, c) and at the level of content. In terms of information technology the main aim is to create and stabilise a network link between visual data and metadata, between visual data and literature data, and in the medium term between databases. The network of institutions and individuals, of disciplines and types of scientific activity in which ecological research has been and is being conducted is to be made available and visualised in this way.
Users of the web-based database are provided with a decentralised structure for exchanging data and information via an interactive platform – this being a further aspect of the networking component. Issues concerning the representation of nature in its specific forms or the interplay between society and science may once again be of relevance here too. Creating a link between content, visual data and literature data ultimately facilitates a topographical representation of the institutions and individuals being researched, thus generating new insights into the history of disciplines, individuals and institutions of the actors concerned with nature “out there”. Indeed it is the visualisation of the visual data according to historical and geographical criteria that makes it possible to generate new research questions. In this respect the web-based information system can be used as a heuristic tool for simultaneously extending and enriching philosophy of science and media studies perspectives.